US Senators Unveil Immigration Reform Plan

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Photo courtesy VOA News

By Dan Robinson – WHITE HOUSE — A group of eight Democratic and Republican senators unveiled key elements Monday of a proposed compromise to reform the U.S. immigration system.  President Barack Obama will use an event in Nevada on Tuesday to lay out his vision on the issue.

What the Senate lawmakers called “tough but fair” proposals would accomplish key objectives Obama and previous presidents have long supported, including a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
The plan specifically links eventual citizenship with future steps to enhance border security. Immigrants seeking a “green card” – the document needed to work legally – would have to satisfy all requirements, such as payment of taxes and any outstanding fines, and demonstrate their English-language ability.
Also included are steps Obama has advocated to boost the U.S. economy, by ending a talent drain in which the children of illegal immigrants who acquired an education and skills – and their parents – are forced to leave the United States.
Press Secretary Jay Carney welcomed the framework, but he declined to discuss legislative timetables or even say if Obama will propose a bill himself.  Carney said conditions appear right for progress.
“He believes that we are at a moment now where there seems to be support coalescing at a bipartisan level behind the very principles that he has long put forward,” he said.
Carney said Obama’s remarks Tuesday in Nevada, a state he won in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections with strong Hispanic and labor union support, will engage Americans in a conversation about the challenge ahead.
Democratic and Republican congressional aides said the Senate plan was deliberately released now to provide political separation from Mr. Obama and demonstrate that Congress is determined to act.
Obama spoke about immigration reform in his second inaugural address.
“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country,” he said.
Congressional proposals include further strengthening of border security, steps to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants and bolstering measures to prevent identity theft.
The Senate plan would give green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees at U.S. universities.  Agricultural workers would be treated differently from other undocumented immigrants.  Employers would be allowed to to hire immigrants if citizens cannot be found.
Calling their framework a first step, senators said a tough fight lies ahead, but that they are confident immigration reform can be achieved despite the sort of opposition that has derailed previous efforts.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said,  “We believe this will be the year Congress finally gets it done.  The politics on this issue have been turned upside down.  For the first time ever, there is more political risk in opposing immigration reform than supporting it.”
At the same press conference, Republican Senator John McCain said, “Now we will again attempt to commit the remaining resources needed to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current immigration system, and create a tough but fair path to citizenship for those here illegally.”
Though the bipartisan Senate group includes influential Republicans such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, organizations that opposed past reform efforts are not persuaded.
Rosemary Jenks represents NumbersUSA, a group that says the Senate plan is a rehash of past proposals that would offer amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“The problem with amnesty is that if you send the message to the world that, if you can come to the United States illegally and manage to break the law for long enough, we will reward you with amnesty,” she said. “So the message is, ‘Come on in.’”
The chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith, also calls the new proposals an amnesty.
Despite the display of Senate bipartisanship, John Sides of George Washington University says it is likely to take time for immigration legislation to move forward on Capitol Hill.
“A timeline that ends in March strikes me as pretty ambitious. I don’t think that is because there is not a will to make this happen in Congress. I just think it is a question of the natural slowness [of the legislative process] and the need for different constituencies to buy in,” he said.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, whose members met with Obama last week, called the Senate plan a positive step and expressed hope that Republicans who control the House of Representatives will see it as workable.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the Senate plan could help protect illegal immigrants from exploitation by employers and discourage racial profiling. But the liberal group is concerned about a requirement for an electronic verification system, which it sees as “a thinly disguised national ID requirement” that undermines privacy and imposes new burdens on businesses.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Do I think 11mm is a low ball number? I think there is over 14mm Mexicans living in California right now. I don't know how many are legal.
    Again, I just cant abide by a system that rewards people jumping over legal immigrants. All the "safeguards" they talk about are unenforceable. Congressman Vitter agrees with me.

    • What if 1 million Honduran's breached El Salvador's borders every year, without weapons or arms of any sort. There would be a war between the two nations. Why is there a such a double standard applied to the USA?

  2. @real deal36 first of all, I don't believe in the UN.Idon't believe in their charter,the Un,in my opinion,should be outlawed and asked to leave new york city.and they should never have any authority over americans.and after the north korean armies invaded the south,it was the american government that got the UN to mobilize "the free world" against communist agression by the north.the korean war was a civil war,and we had no business getting involved in it.we carpet- bombed the hell out of north korea for three years that resulted in a lot of civilian casualties.a lot of civilian casualties.the Us government and "allies" as well as the south korean military were engaging in massacres of civilians just like in My Lai.we are all going to have to read a book by historian bruce cumings who wrote a revisionist history of the conflict.the book is entitled "the origins of the Korean war". it is a 2 volume set.there is a lot we don't know or remember about the korean war.none of it portrays us in a good light.

    • First, you stated that ""No government including ours has the moral right to restrict the movement of people." Which I demonstrated it to be a very flawed position to hold. I do believe anyone reading this will be more educated that such a flawed idea cannot stand.

      But now, this has become a discussion about Foreign Policy of the USA. While I totally agree with you about the UN, in how it should get out of NY and be headquartered in Yemen (since most of it's member/countries are run by dictators). The UN has become a corrupted and despicable on the world stage.

      But I'm glad you recognized the invasion of South Korea by the North was an act of communist aggression. The Korean war may have looked like a civil war to you, but to the US, it was certainly a USSR/PRC backed Communist grab, with aims of further Communist grabs of other lands and countries. If the US did nothing, this would indicate USSR/PRC could invade with impunity. Something had to be done. Communism is a really bad thing, everywhere communism reigned, Human Rights suffered, concentration/Labor/Death camps ensued. Communism was and is a poison to all mankind. To neglect Communist invasions of other lands, is to be like the Western Powers looking away and doing nothing about Nazi Germany's land grabs. Invasions will become World Wars, in the industrialized 20th Century.

      History calls the looking away of Hitler's land grabs "appeasement".

  3. No, I don't believe the "revisionist history" in the Cumings book would portray us in a good light.

  4. @Real Deal36- to really understand the korean war,have to go back to the Yalta meeting & Potstam conference in july 1945. FDR gave all of Korea north of the 38th Parallel to the Soviets.a damn gift to Stalin.FDR admin. also gave Uncle Joe eastern europe and manchuria to the soviet regime(who gave it to red chinese).now WHY the hell would FDR do something so dangerous?because the FDR GOVERNMENT was infiltrated by Soviet agents.Harry Hopkins,an FDR National Security Adviser was one of them.Alger Hiss was another.These agents talked FDR into making these concessions.So it could said that FDR and the GOVERNMENT OF USA helped to expand the communist influence around the world.

    • Is the communists in B.O.'s admin.?
      Do you think this report below is a sign of socialism too?
      Or is he the Manchurian Candidate? https://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-memo-jus

      President Barack Obama have the right to order the assassination of an American anywhere in the world—without any oversight from Congress or the courts, and even if that U.S. citizen is not actively plotting a specific terrorist attack? His administration, in a stunning Justice Department memo laying out a broad legal rationale for the country's ever-expanding drone war, says yes
      Obama campaigned in 2008 as a fierce critic of George W. Bush’s national security policies, but he has apparently learned to stop worrying and love nearly unfettered executive power—the literal power of life and death over fellow U.S. citizens overseas thought to be consorting with extremists groups that may be targeting America. So, under what circumstances does he have the right to act?

    • I agree with all that shaft, you old rake.

      Do you think Truman inheriting FDR's communists had anything to do with the sell out of the nationalist Chinese, and assisting Mao and his murderous "great leap forward?"

    • Shaftalley;
      I'm very surprised you know this stuff, so it is a pleasure conversing with you.

      I don't know the history of the FBI too well, but it is claimed that the FBI dropped it's counter-intellegence in 1924 (when J Edgar Hoover was appointed the director, I don't know if he had anything to do with it) and so in the 1930's, the Soviets had an opportunity to establish a wide web of Communists and sympathizers into the USA, whom the USSR would use throughout WWII. Klaus Fuchs passed all our Atomic secrets to the Soviets, and the supreme communist sympathizer, Oppenheimer himself. Not many of today's Bush haters and Obama worshippers know this stuff, to their detriment, and to our country. Hawaii also had it's Communist-Pro-USSR operatives, in the Form of Koji Ariyoshi, and the Honolulu record (Obama's political mentor, CPUSA card carrying memeber -Frank Marshal- also wrote for the Record and was on the run from the FBI, would be arrested if any kind of war broke out with the USSR.

      While I do think FDR was s dupe (but a dreamer more so) (Stalin was frustrated by his death) he wasn't an opporative or a sympathizer. Just gullible, ripe to pick for the communist harvest. For 40 years, students in the Soviet Union learned in text books that the reason the USA didn't create a second front (not until late war, with the advent of the Higgins low draft landing craft) was so that the Soviet Union would be bled white by the Germans. Stalin fostered that opinion, and FDR tried to appease it.

      So concessions were made, perhaps a combination out of feeling of guilt and communist sympathizers (like Hopkins) in American Government.

      I don't think Nazi Germany would have been completely militarily destroyed without the aid of the Soviet Union. We never would have made it ashore in Normandy, had not the majority of Hitler's formidable defensive armor and troops were being tied up and slaughtered in the Eastern Front, which caused the majority of Hitler's Army losses.

      • I say all this because it may seem that America funded and gave heaps to the USSR during the war years, but they were a MAJOR ally in the war against Hitler's Germany. And it was such an odd alliance, very shaky, it could have come apart at the seems at many moments. I've read accounts of US pilots accidentally strafing Russian troops in the closing months of the war (their columns were so close to the German lines, they all got hacked) The Russian General demanded that the the American commander be shot. We know very well how Patton thought of the Russians. In one of Erich Hartmann's last air combats of the War, he dove down through Soviet and American fighter planes (that were in the air at the same time) and destroyed a Soviet plane so quick, no one knew what hit it. The Soviets responded by attacking the American aircraft in the area, and a dog fight between the two shaky allies ensued with losses on both sides.

  5. @Blue Eyed Devil i think that chiang kai shek was his worst own enemy. him and madame chiang as well as their extended family(buch of warlords) looted their country.Truman disliked the generalissimo and thought that chiang family were evil.but ,from what i understand he and his administration kept sending the nationalist aid and weapons.the chiangs reportedly stole over 750 million dollars of that aid for personal "family investments."That was a lot of money back in the late "40's.Truman was stuck between a rock and a hard wall.in Potsdam,he tried to undo the stupid concessions that FDR gave to Stalin.but uncle joe didn't budge.and Truman didn't trust the communists.but,like you mentioned,he "inherited" all the FDR baggage and the extensive soviet(and British!!) spy networks.FDR wanted the soviets to declare war on japan.Truman agreed as far as i know.after Truman dropped the 2 atomic bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki,the Sviets declared war on Japan,invaded and occupied manchuria.after Mao took china in 1949,Truman really didn't want to support the nationalist gov't. who fled to Taiwan.but later,when the Chi-coms invaded korea,he changed his mind.

  6. I know our "SOB's" had their excesses, Bautista, Somoza, and the Shah Palevi for example, but as we know their replacements were far worse.

    • Blue Eyed Devil,

      Have you read shaft-alley's latest reply/comment to me? He must know the date the Korean War started, yet he travelled back in time to place the blame on America ( under the guise "to really understand the Korean war…'). There really is a "blame America first" demographic in America, and it's very large. The Korean war started on June 25, 1950, when North Korea invaded the South. This stark historical fact proves my point, and proves his claim ("No government including ours has the moral right to restrict the movement of people." ) to be totally false. Wars start when foreigners breach a common border in the 20th Century. A massive double standard is applied to the USA. The immigration policy's of Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America are so strict, that If the USA adopted them, the "Blame America First" crowd would be calling America "Nazi Germany". For some reason, the USA has massive double standards applied to it.

  7. @ Blue Eyed Devil- your right about the replacements being far worse.but the guy who replaced somoza in nicaruaga,daniel ortega,didn't he mellow out and turn capitalist later on?and I kind of liked the Shah of Iran.he was secular and moving the country towards modern times but it was his oppressive authoritarian gov't. and secret police that made him unpopular also?and also here in america,it looks like the replacement for pres. Bush is "far worse" especially in economic and foreign policy..he is a marxist/war monger.

    • I knew Obama was a Marxist/war monger as soon as the Reverend Wright controversy hit. I knew everything out of Obama's mouth would be a lie. But the entire USA that resides left of center "McCarthy'ed" Bush to the point that it stuck, and a Marxist spewing Liar like Obama would look like a Knight in Shining Armor compared to Bush. In a way, I'm glad Obama got a second term, to finally prove what a far left quasi Communist (his mentor was CPUSA Frank Marshal Davis) can do with the American Military.

      Obama would have been able to pass a qualification exam to become and FBI agent. Now he runs them.

  8. @Real Deal 36- a very interesting point you bring up regarding the FBI and Director J Edgar Hoover in the 1920's.it is probably the reason why there was so much soviet espionage,etc. in USA and FDR Admin. also possibly millions of communist sympathisers,etc.especially the media and the artists(actors,writers,musicians etc.). what i know about FDR was this:he bbe a slick politician.FDR was first elected only because he promised to repeal prohibition(he knew what the voters wanted!).and when elected,he kept his promise.it's the only worthwile thing he did in his permanent presidency.His New Deal prolonged the Great Depression.he wanted USA to go to war!why?because war was FDR's tool of economic recovery: inflation,controls,the military draft(full employment?).his policies after Pearl harbor:extending war socialism based on Mussolini's economic structure.State control over private enterprise.

  9. @Real Deal 36- tried to post a response 10 minutes ago but was censored.wonder why.i e-mailed a request to Malia to look in to this.are you having problems like this?is anyone?

  10. @Real Deal 36-i will try to post again. i think you bring up very interesting points about the FBI and J edgar Hoover in the 1920's and beyond that may have caused the high level of soviet spy activity.also america had a lot of communist sympathisers.i have things to say about FDR that is very critical of him but i won't because Malia will just censor my comments like she did previously when i wanted to comment on gun control.sorry,man

    • well shucks Shaftalley. You are a pleasure to converse with, we both have the civility to bring up different points in the attempt to get at the core of the reality of a situation (and you are knowledgable). I've posted things before that were immediately gone after I submitted them, but saw that the next day it was there. I do think if you have been civil the way you have been, I don't see a problem with you being posted.

      Hope you get through. I'd like to hear you're thoughts on gun control also

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